Updated: Oct 18, 2022
By Traci Lipton
I was working a breakfast/lunch shift and I heard my notifications on my phone going off. As soon as I left work, I checked my phone. I had a few people tag me on a video that had not yet went viral that showed a woman filming an adorable wide-eyed slightly fearful looking raccoon stuck in a dumpster. She was rather giddy as she was describing the female as "he," saying he had been running after people and probably had rabies. I knew this could not be true because, well, she was stuck in a dumpster, and raccoons do not have the capabilities of going in and out. The video then switches to another video showing the raccoon’s burnt and charred corpse as she says, "Some people said put an apple with bleach in there. We just toasted his ass! Who's hungry?" which is even more disturbing knowing that she is the proprietor of a food truck called "Food Vigilantes." I was beside myself. My mind wandering to the suffering that that beautiful defenseless being had went through. I called the Sarasota County Sheriff's Animal Services and the police department and gave them the information I knew at the time, which was the woman's name (Alicia Kincheloe), address (I looked her up and found her business license with her address on it), and the information from the video. But I knew I could not sit idly by and just wait on an investigation, the fire inside of me needed to be proactive.
So, I started a Justice for Rosie campaign. I felt the need to give her a name so that she would be viewed as a being and not as an 'it', as many people were calling her. I sent the video via email to a couple of local newsrooms and began reaching out to as many people as possible that I knew would also care. Very quickly the video went viral and via word-of-mouth newsrooms began reaching out to me either by text, commenting on my Facebook posts, or reaching out to me in Facebook messenger. I answered every one of them and set up subsequent interviews, although I was slightly embarrassed that it would be myself all over the news, and slightly concerned that people would think this was a grab for attention. But I knew that regardless of those feelings, I had to keep saying "yes" because at the end of the day this was not about me, this was about Justice for Rosie. During this time, I was also in touch daily with the lieutenant in charge of this investigation who assured me they were taking this very seriously and doing their due diligence. I also set up a Justice for Rosie rally to be had on a Saturday at the Sarasota County courthouse/State attorney's office. Although they would be closed on a Saturday, photos, videos and news stories would certainly let them know we were there. The day before the rally, I spoke with the lieutenant who told me that Alicia and her father, Roddy Kincheloe, had been arrested, and that it was worse than any of us knew. During their investigation they found a surveillance camera that had captured the entire incident. Roddy had initially stabbed Rosie with a pitchfork and then he and Alicia left for lunch for a couple of hours, came back, saw that she was still alive and had been laying there suffering. Without an ounce of empathy, they decided to finish her off by causing more suffering by setting her, still alive, on fire. I had what I call a "brain melting moment," as I cannot wrap my head around that kind of sociopathic behavior and cruelty. I could not imagine the incredible horrific suffering that that beautiful sentient being, that had just been looking for food, endured. They have both been charged with the highest animal cruelty charge there is, a third-degree felony. Alicia is also being charged with evidence tampering as she had taken that same pitchfork to remove Rosie's body and told a friend of hers that day that she did so to hide the evidence. We still held the rally, although it got rained out about a half hour after we began, but the point was still made. More attention was still given to the issue with three news stations that came out from Tampa Bay to Sarasota, and many honks of support by drivers by were given. This is not over, as Alicia and Roddy have hired a high-priced lawyer, and plan on fighting. They are still not showing to this day one iota of regret or empathy and calling themselves the victim of a witch hunt. October 14th was their arraignment at the Sarasota County Courthouse. Follow "Justice for Rosie" on Facebook to join activists sitting in the gallery on future court dates to let them know that the public is still watching, we still care, and we are not going away until we see Justice for Rosie.